The Myth of the Sexless Marriage

I was reading a conversation over on DC Urban Moms and Dads. The original poster asked why on earth anyone would recommend Chump Lady’s site because she was so bitter, angry and negative. Several people patiently pointed out that anger is useful to get you through the initial phase of being discarded and accepting what you married. Others pointed out her tag line is: Leave a cheater, gain a life. She’s not into the reconciliation business. Eventually it meandered over into the fact that men NEED sex and that most people who cheat do so because of sexless marriages.

Well, of course they do! It couldn’t be the fact that the person has bad character. It couldn’t be the fact that the cheater lacks impulse control, or feels entitled to anything he or she desires. It couldn’t be the fact that they act like toddlers, throwing a tantrum anytime things don’t go their way. It can’t be that they are needy and clingy and are bottomless pits of need. No, it must be because their spouses (wives usually) have cut them off from sex, forcing them to cheat. They wouldn’t do this awful thing if the “refusing” spouse would simply hop into bed and participate. This is not their fault! It’s the cheated on spouse’s fault!

Why not divorce? Coz reasons! It’s no fair that if my wife cuts me off from sex and I believe that’s a deal breaker then I have to be a grown up and make hard choices. One person even put it like this:

I’m not comfortable defending the position of a cheater but…

A wife who unilaterally chooses to be sexless gives her husband a Hobson’s choice. Either cheat or divorce, and along with divorce comes a free raping by the divorce court. Losing their kids, their house, half their stuff and the added bonus of continuing to pay the person who caused this for the rest of their life. That’s a ridiculous choice to have to make. So in that case, cheating is not a wholly unreasonable solution.

A wife whose husband has become sexless can make a legitimate choice to divorce with limited negative consequences, so there is no excuse for them to cheat.

Oy. And vey. Dramatic much?

A wife who unilaterally chooses to be sexless gives her husband a Hobson’s choice.

First of all, who are these wives this person speaks of who entirely cut their husbands off? There is a difference between, “I want to have sex six times a week but my spouse will only give it up twice,” vs. “I haven’t had sex in five years.” Not to mention, cheaters lie. It’s what they do.

CF will tell anyone who will listen that we hadn’t had sex in ten years. That is an outright lie. He will also tell people he is an Army Ranger. That is another outright lie. He lies. It’s what he does. I feel like I’m in a fucking Geico commercial!

In addition, the only spouses I’ve ever heard of who cut their spouse off sexually were the cheaters! They did it to maintain control. Meanwhile, they were out there screwing anything that moved.

Either cheat or divorce, and along with divorce comes a free raping by the divorce court. Losing their kids, their house, half their stuff…

Secondly, if you do even the tiniest bit of research you will find that it is generally women who pay the greatest price when it comes to divorce. Hell, I know I got a great deal compared to some people but my standard of living is still far, far below what it was. I will again remind the reading audience that while CF is indeed paying out in excess of 60% of his paycheck to me, he’s doing so because he refuses to leave his sweetie behind to find a better paying job. He was imputed at his previous wages. Even with a ten month gap in employment and being basically fired for drinking on the job, he managed to get a $100,000/year job. I finally got one for $11/hour. He lives in a 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom 3000 sq. foot home which looks eerily like our old home in Virginia, with a community pool and a community clubhouse. I live with my mother, have no bedroom to call my own, and sleep on the couch.

Sure, there are stories of women who take their husbands to the cleaners. The ironic part? They’re usually the ones cheating. I know far more women who have been left destitute after a divorce.

…and the added bonus of continuing to pay the person who caused this for the rest of their life.

I’m pretty sure CF must have written this. Yet another person lamenting having to pay “for the rest of their life.” No, it’s not the rest of their life. In many states they pay nothing aside from child support! Child support ends at some point. Spousal support ends at some point. In my case it will end in 16 years. That is hardly “the rest of his life”.

I loved this though: So in that case, cheating is not a wholly unreasonable solution.

A wife whose husband has become sexless can make a legitimate choice to divorce with limited negative consequences, so there is no excuse for them to cheat.

Nice! So men are forced to cheat because otherwise they may have to give up some of their stuff. Women, on the other hand, never have an excuse to cheat.

It’s too bad some of these people never grew up. If they had they would understand that sometimes doing the right thing isn’t easy. They would understand that on occasion you get to choose between two shitty things. These poor babies just assume the fact that divorcing comes with consequences they don’t want to face means they should be excused for cheating.

Could we please stop acting like women (or whoever is withholding) have all the power? It’s not like a stay at home mom who is “refusing” to have sex has nothing to lose if her husband leaves her. Many states start with 50/50 custody so she stands to lose her kids. Even if she has primary custody she still misses out on weekends and holidays with her kids. A woman who divorces may find her children being raised by another woman. After reading a Mom vs. Stepmom debate board for over ten years it seems to me that women are much more territorial when it comes to the children. Many states have no alimony, so even if she does get custody of the kids, she won’t be receiving it any longer than 18 years and it will go down as each child ages out. Her chances of finding a job where she makes as much money as her husband are fairly low unless her degree is in something that will remain current- think nursing. I’ve known women who were teachers, IT professionals, and accountants who struggled going back into the workforce after years of staying home with children. If she was already working then he’s not going to end up paying her alimony anyway, if they live in a state that awards it, unless he makes significantly more than her. And, if their salaries are very similar he might not end up paying her much in child support either- probably none at all if custody is 50/50.

It’s all a narrative to justify cheating. Those trying the hardest to justify it keep referring to the “refuser” in the relationship and how that person is the one who first broke vows. Apparently, one of the vows you make when you get married is to have sex on demand. If that vow isn’t met then the other spouse is justified in cheating, or so their theory goes.

Even when it’s pointed out that if that is indeed happening then both parties know they are not having sex. The person being refused sex is not left in the dark. When the other person decides to go outside of the marriage both parties are not aware of it. When that is pointed out, and divorce is offered up as the responsible response to such a situation (not getting all the sex you deserve) they once again chime in with, “But… consequences! Why should I suffer any consequences for any of my decisions? I have to cheat. I deserve to cheat because they won’t do what I want them, no NEED them, to do.” They are nothing but big ol’ cake eaters.

Here’s another truth. It’s not about the sex. If he’s getting it twelve times a week at home then he’ll complain that she won’t do anal, or oral, or some other thing. Or it’s that she won’t do a threesome or let him watch her have sex with another guy, or participate in a gang bang, or agree to an open marriage, or participate in S&M. Look at the swinger from last week. He and his wife are having sex upwards of five times a week and he wants to be able fuck strange on the side. His complaint about his first wife wasn’t simply that she only wanted sex a few times a month. It was also about the fact that she wasn’t willing to indulge his other fantasies.

If you read Chump Lady you will hear that narrative over and over: I had plenty of sex with my husband, but he went looking for other sources because I wouldn’t… (fill in the blank).

People don’t cheat because they’re in sexless marriages. I would be willing to bet that most of them who make that claim aren’t even in sexless marriages. They cheat because they feel entitled to cheat. They cheat because they want to eat cake, as Chump Lady would say. They cheat because nothing is ever enough for them and no amount of groveling and catering to them will ever make them happy or satisfied. They always demand more. They cheat because they don’t want to have to do the hard work of filing for divorce and going through everything that entails. It’s far easier to keep your spouse and some strange on the side, than it is to be honest and do the hard thing. They cheat because they have convinced themselves that it’s YOUR fault. You’ve made them do this; the poor lambs didn’t have a choice.

Don’t fall for the narrative, folks. People with an ounce of common sense don’t ask what the rape victim could have done to prevent the rapist from raping her/him. People with an ounce of common sense don’t tell the battered spouse, “If only you would do (fill in the blank),” or “If you wouldn’t do (fill in the blank) your spouse wouldn’t be driven to abuse you.” People with an ounce of common sense should also realize no one makes another person cheat. It’s a damn choice. Own it!

#riseup

3 thoughts on “The Myth of the Sexless Marriage

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